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Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders

The following is from the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders by Sir Walter Scott:

The Laird o' Logie


An edition of this ballad is current, under the title of "The Laird of Ochiltree;" but the editor, since publication of this work, has been fortunate enough to recover the following more correct and ancient copy, as recited by a gentleman residing near Biggar. It agrees more nearly, both in the name and in the circumstances, with the real fact, than the printed ballad of Ochiltree.

In the year 1592, Francis Stuart, earl of Bothwell, was agitating his frantic and ill-concerted attempts against the person of James VI., whom he endeavoured to surprise in the palace of Falkland. Through the emulation and private rancour of the courtiers, he found adherents even about the king's person; among whom, it seems, was the hero of our ballad, whose history is thus narrated in that curious and valuable chronicle, of which the first part has been published under the title of "The Historie of "King James the Sext," and the second is now in the press.

"In this close tyme it fortunit, that a gentelman, callit Weymis of Logye, being also in credence at court, was delatit as a traffekker with Frances Erle Bothwell; and he being examinat before king and counsall, confessit his accusation to be of veritie, that sundrie tymes he had spokin with him, expresslie aganis the king's inhibitioun proclamit in the contrare, whilk confession he subscryvit with his hand; and because the event of this mater had sik a succes, it sall also be praysit be my pen, as a worthie turne, proceiding frome honest chest loove and charitie, whilk suld on na wayis be obscurit from the posteritie for the gude example; and therefore I have thought gude to insert the same for a perpetual memorie.

"Queen Anne, our noble princess, was servit with dyverss gentilwemen of hir awin cuntrie, and naymelie with are callit Mres Margaret Twynstoun,[256] to whome this gentilman, Weymes of Logye, bure great honest affection, tending to the godlie band of marriage, the whilk was honestlie requytet be the said gentilwoman, yea evin in his greatest mister; for howsone she understude the said gentilman to be in distress, and apperantlie be his confession to be puueist to the death, and she having prevelege to ly in the queynis chalmer that same verie night of his accusation, whare the king was also reposing that same night, she came forth of the dur prevelie, bayth the prencis being then at quyet rest, and past to the chalmer, whare the said gentilman was put in custodie to certayne of the garde, and commandit thayme that immediatelie he sould be broght to the king and queyne, whareunto thay geving sure credence, obeyit. Bot howsone she was cum bak to the chalmer dur, she desyrit the watches to stay till he sould cum furth agayne, and so she closit the dur, and convoyit the gentilman to a windo', whare she ministrat a long corde unto him to convoy himself doun upon; and sa, be hir gude cheritable help, he happelie escapit be the subteltie of loove."

The Laird o' Logie - Footnotes

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